ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL URGES CONGRESS TO PASS THE EAGLES ACT OF 2021
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery today led a coalition of 40 attorneys general urging Congress to pass the EAGLES Act of 2021, which would provide research-based threat assessment training to prevent targeted school violence.
"The mass shootings and incidents of gun violence this year alone have left our nation reeling, and it is essential for federal and state officials to work together to minimize that threat, especially in our schools," said Raoul. "I am urging Congress to pass the EAGLES Act to provide more resources into research and training that will help us identify and treat individuals who show signs associated with targeted violence – before a tragedy occurs."
The EAGLES Act of 2021 is named for the mascot of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which was the site of a February 2018 mass shooting that killed 17 students and teachers. The EAGLES Act would expand the U.S. Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) to establish a national program on targeted school violence prevention and provide additional resources dedicated to research and training on a national scale. The school safety initiative included in the measure would allow the NTAC to coordinate trainings and research with the departments of Justice and Education, state and local educational officials, law enforcement, and mental health officials. The legislation also requires the Secret Service to provide periodic progress reports to Congress.
Historically, the NTAC was created to provide information on threat assessment to the Secret Service and others who work in the criminal justice and public safety fields. Following the school shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, the NTAC partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to study targeted violence in schools, which led to the establishment of school threat assessment programs. These programs are key to preventing targeted violence in schools by providing early intervention, treatment and care to individuals who show signs associated with targeted violence.
In the letter sent to leaders of both the House and Senate Judiciary committees, Raoul and the attorneys general note that they have a responsibility to ensure their communities are safe from targeted violence. They argue that no one person or entity can achieve this goal alone, and that preventing targeted violence requires coordination between law enforcement officials, lawmakers, educators, parents and students, and community members. Ultimately, Raoul and the coalition state that the EAGLES Act strengthens partnerships between state and federal agencies that will help reduce targeted violence and keep communities safe.
Joining Raoul and Slatery in calling on Congress to pass the EAGLES Act of 2021 are the attorneys general of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.